(L-R) Colin Farrell, Christopher Walken and Sam Rockwell in a scene from Seven Psychopaths (Courtesy of TIFF)
As we inch ever closer to fall and temperatures start to even out so that we aren't constantly covered in a dewy film of summer sweat, we also approach the start of the Toronto International Film Festival and today TIFF's Artistic Director Cameron Bailey and TIFF programmer Colin Geddes announced the lineups for the Vanguard, Midnight Madness, TIFF Kids, TIFF Docs and City to City programmes and they've crammed a lot of goodness into the 37th annual fest.
From Michel Gondry's social experiment The We and I to an English-language remake of Nicolas Winding Refn's Pusher to Room 237, a deep-dark look at conspiracies surrounding Stanley Kubrick's classic The Shining, the Vanguard programme once again promises envelope-pushing, introspective films from those working at the top of their slightly warped fields.
And speaking of warped, the fest's dedicated blood-curdling portion that satisfies those who want to explore what bizarre movies come out at night, Midnight Madness boasts a handful of world premieres including John Dies at the End, a trippy horror flick co-starring Paul Giamatti, Colin Farrell's reunion with director Martin McDonagh for Seven Psychopaths and Hellbenders, an R-rated 3D exorcism comedy.
For those with more delicate sensibilities, or you know a family, TIFF Kids is pulling out some big-name talent with the world premiere of Finding Nemo 3D and the Adam Sandler-Kevin James kid-friendly romp Hotel Transylvania, much of which was put together at Sony Pictures Imageworks' Vancouver office. (Canadian Connection!)
Hirsute rocker-turned-director Rob Zombie (The Devil's Rejects) is back with The Lords of Salem and Pete Travis' version of the iconic masked crime fighter Dredd, starring Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby, will also be premiering as part of Midnight Madness.
On the truth-is-stranger-than-fiction side of things, the TIFF Docs programme promises to shine a light on controversial director Roman Polanski (Roman Polanski: Odd Man Out), hip hop fixture Snoop Dogg, sorry Snoop Lion, (Reincarnated), husband-less parenthood (First Comes Love) and a multi-sided look at the war on drugs (How to Make Money Selling Drugs). Of course one of the most peculiar films within this TIFF section has to be Bartholomew Cubbins' Artifact, a look at 30 Second to Mars (yup, Jared Leto's band) and their struggle with record label EMI. Did anyone know this epic lawsuit was even happening? That's one for the fans.
And, as previously announced by Bailey, Mumbai is the heart and soul of this year's City to City programme and will provide a contrast to the more well-known flashy and splashy Bollywood films.
“Mumbai's cinema today is entirely different from what it was even a few years ago," Cameron offered via press release. "The rise of independent cinema has shifted the terrain, probing into previously taboo subjects and adopted styles that were earlier unpalatable to the Indian audience. Mumbai's film industry is going through a significant change and a strong group of new filmmakers has emerged. They're representing the evolution of their city in an interesting way. Toronto audiences are in for a treat this fall."
Indeed with a lineup this diverse, where A-listers will rub elbows with genre auteurs and little-known fan favourites, those who live in Toronto, or are planning a visit to coincide with all the cinematic awesomeness, are in for a treat.
The Toronto International Film festival runs from September 6 to 16.
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